The Delusion Stage
I’m working on finishing the first draft of A Private Gentleman right now, and at the moment I’m in the Delusion Stage. This is translated as the following formula: "If I can just X, it will be fine, and then I can finish." The X variable changes daily, and its choice is either divinely inspired or as random as a roulette table. But like somebody betting their whole stack on lucky 13, or 28, or whatever the number-du-juor is, in that moment I am utterly convinced this is THE way to salvation, mostly because if it isn’t, I’m completely screwed. And like any good gambler, I can continually alter my delusion to fit my anticipated reality.
It’s working too. Right now I have a fairly solid chapter one and pretty good chapter two. Chapter three is on deck, unless working for it makes the house of cards start to fall, at which point I’m sure some other part of the novel will immediately become THE key to unlocking the wisdom of the universe.
Largely I suppose what I’m doing right now is trying to fold in the research the Minions gave me on Sunday. That’s right, like Harmony, I have minions. Mine are named Asrion and Signy. (They have other names, but they seem to like these best in public. So I shall indulge the minions.) Asrion knows every fucking thing about orchids, and Signy knows about history and/or where to look it up. So on Sunday they sat there and gave me the crash course on orchids and London in 1843. I took notes and soaked until my brain blew up, and then we ate Chinese and looked at Marie Sexton’s naughty tumblr and had multi-chats with Sydney. I also scanned ahead in my draft and re-remembered stuff I had written. I swear, somebody else must have gotten hold of my Scrivener document, because I don’t remember most of it. I altered between, "Hey, this is pretty damn good! Who wrote this?" and "Jesus, I have a sick mind."
In theory I’m trying to make sure the threads from the end make sense from the beginning. This is frequently how it goes with me. A lot of the time my very first "drafts" are some sort of drunk Escher painting where the staircases turn in on each other and the walls become ceilings and in general you read it and think, "This bitch had to be high when she wrote this shit." In general I like my final drafts to make sense and be clear. This takes some work, some time, and a lot of swearing. And a lot of delusions.
I am also freezing my tush off, because Iowa is COLD and getting COLDER. When it warms up, it snows, then gets COLD again. Apparently this is all we get, like Groundhog Day, for the immediate future.
High is starting to look better all the time. Except then I’d miss the next gem from the Minions, and that would be a tragedy. And because care and feeding of Minions is very important: